The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Italy could be ten times higher than officially reported and reach 600,000, admitted the head of Italian Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli, in an interview with the newspaper “La Repubblica”.
"For every declared infected, there are ten unregistered," said Borrelli, who daily communicates the official data at a press conference and, on Monday, indicated that 63,000 people were infected in Italy.
When asked if it makes sense to continue to give positive case numbers every day, the head of Civil Protection says he has also thought about it and that many people ask him to stop.
“These may be imperfect data, but, from the first day, I assured you that I would tell the truth, it is a commitment I made to the country. If we stop, they will accuse us of hiding things, ”explained Angelo Borrelli.
According to data provided by Borrelli on Monday, the number of deaths in Italy by covid-19 reached 6,077, with an increase of 602 in just 24 hours, which represents the second consecutive day on which deaths have decreased.
The number of people currently ill is 50,418, an increase of 3,780 positive cases compared to those recorded on Sunday.
Borrelli criticized the behavior of some people, such as the group of friends from the province of Lodi who went on vacation to the island of Ischia on February 23, which caused infections in that area, or the 29 residents of Bergamo who went on vacation to the island. Sicilia.
The Civil Protection official also pointed out that the Atalanta-Valencia football game, played at the San Siro stadium in Milan, with 46,000 spectators, “was potentially a trigger”.
The director of the Microbiology and Virology Unit in Padua (Veneto), Andrea Crisanti, responsible for the massive testing campaign that the region is implementing, shares the same opinion as Borrelli.
"In Italy, it is necessary to count at least 250,000 asymptomatic people, most of them concentrated in Lombardy, and another 200,000 with symptoms," he explained in an interview with the local newspaper "Il Gazzettino".
Andrea Crisanti highlighted the importance of conducting tests in a massive way, as was done at Veneto, and explained that the goal is to go from 2,000 to 4,000 tests per day until reaching 20,000 per day.
Thanks to the 61,115 tests performed in Veneto, more than 5,505 asymptomatic patients were identified, while in Lombardy, which has twice the population of Veneto, 73,242 tests were performed.
The journalist and deputy director of the “Il Post” information page, Francesco Costa, reported in an article a few days ago that “data about the new coronavirus are saying less and less” about the situation.
“As covid-19 only presents itself seriously in a minority of infected people, this
it means that the Civil Protection number represents only a very small portion of the infected people in Italy, which are at least four or five times that number, ”said Costa.
Costa added that the criteria for carrying out the tests “change from region to region” and this makes the data unrealistic.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 345,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 15,100 have died.
After appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.